PROFILE OF A MUSEUM VOLUNTEER
James M. (Jim) Jones was born October 14, 1943 in Yuba City, CA to Monroe and Ione Jones. Jim’s father returned from WWII in 1944 to Yuba City, shortly thereafter they moved to Dallas, Texas. In 1945 the family returned to Yuba City where Jim’s brother Floyd was born. Over the next several years the family lived in Bakersfield, CA, Tulare, CA, and arrived in Fresno, CA in 1953. Jim attended Roeding Elementary, Ft. Miller Jr. High, and Fresno High School graduating in 1961.
In 1962 Jim joined the Air Force and completed basic training, and Tech School at Lackland AFB in Texas, after which he was assigned to Mather AFB near Sacramento. He worked in Security, and was assigned to the Combat Defense Force as a K-9 Handler. During his time in the Air Force he was TDY several times to different air bases. In 1966, Jim was honorably discharged from the Air Force. Jim and his wife Tammy have been married since 1997 and have four children between them and reside in Visalia, California.
Jim returned to Fresno, and in 1967 he started working for the Fresno Police Department. During his career he worked in the Patrol Division (Uniform Patrol), Traffic Division (Motorcycle Officer), Special Enforcement Unit (Non-uniform), Identification Bureau (Evidence Technician), Investigation Division as a Detective (Burglary, Homicide). He was assigned to the Bomb Squad, and attended Explosive Ordnance Disposal / Improvised Explosive Device training at Red Stone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. Upon return to Fresno he continued working Homicide and Bomb Squad duties. Jim was the first Detective assigned to a Fire Department in Central California. Working with the Fresno Fire Department involved Fire Investigation as to origin and cause of a fire, while still assigned to the Bomb Squad.Jim was promoted from Specialist to Sergeant in 1983, and returned back to the Police Department Uniform Patrol / Bomb Squad until his retirement in December 1993.
While attending Fire, Explosives, and Evidence classes at the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA. Jim was invited by personnel from the Secret Service to tour the Whitehouse, FBI Headquarters, and Naval Observatory. Later Jim was honored to assist with several Presidential, and Vice Presidential visits in Washington DC, and the Central Valley.
During his career with the Police Department he attended college courses thru State Center Community College, Fresno State College, San Jose State College, and Berkeley University. This education experience allowed him to receive a Life Time Limited Teaching Credential. The credential allowed Jim to instruct for the State Center Community College District, Police Academy, different agencies regarding Fire Scene Investigation, Cause & Origin. The training continued after his retirement from the police department.
1994 Jim secured his Private Investigator License with the State of CA, and Nevada. Jim then agreed to work for Pacific Legal Investigations a private company in Sacramento to conduct their investigations in CA, AZ, NV, and Alaska. 2004 Jim took a job with the Department of Homeland Security as a security officer that led to his accepting the title of Transportation Security Specialist Explosives. The travel with the explosives field was wide ranging. The assignments with Homeland Security were TDY or Perminate at Yosemite International Airport (Fresno CA), Merced Municipal Airport (Merced CA), Meadows Field (Bakersfield CA), Inyo Kern Airport (Inyokern CA), Mammoth Lakes Airport (Mammoth Lakes CA), Reno International Airport (Reno NV), Ely Airport (Ely NV), Elko Airport (Elko NV), San Francisco International Airport (SF CA), San Jose International Airport (San Jose CA), Oakland International Airport (Oakland CA), Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (Phoenix AZ), a portion of the assignments involved teaching explosives information to Government Employees, First Responders, Bomb Squads, K-9 Teams, and testing airport security standards.
During 2018, a trip to the hospital found Jim deciding he was 75 years old, and it seemed like a good time to retire. After traveling around the country, and only belonging to a couple of organizations boredom set in. Jim had worked with Mike Harris while at the Fresno Police Department, so when Mike approached him about volunteering at the Veterans Memorial Museum “Home of the Legion of Valor Museum” he was honored to be invited. It is a great experience to be back with people that have experienced military service camaraderie Jim finds it refreshing to review the history of different wars, and listen to thoughts, and experiences from the past warriors volunteering at the Museum.